Colony Wars: Relationship map

asteroid_colony_1-650Quick post of opportunity as I sort through my notes from last weekend’s Big Bad Con: I wanted to show you the relationship map created by the players as we played Colony Wars: “We’ve Lost Contact with Epsilon 3…”  As advertised, I had brought three pages’ worth of possible character pictures, a big pad of sketch paper, scissors, coloured pens, and glue.

My husband has posted some notes on his experience as a player, and I have summarized my impressions of the system elsewhere as:

I need to write a post-game report, but here is the nutshell version: (1) Token economies are not intuitive for me and prep left me very anxious about this game.  (2) We only touched the basics and I deliberately omitted (or forgot) a lot of special rules.  (3) That said, with a group of six such marvellous players, we had a really great dramatic story.  (4) Once the system is mastered, it should be a fantastic game for a GM because it requires practically no preparation at all.  (5) Still, as far as prep goes: having the images and turning the relationship map into a craft project seemed to work well; they really got into it.

Most of the episode took place on 234 Ithaca, a Main-Belt asteroid on the outer edge (made up asteroid, I didn’t want to get tangled in, you know, science and facts…).  The story began shortly after Ithaca lost contact with Epsilon 3, a new outpost on a Hilda-class asteroid, the beginnings of a new colony for which construction was staged from Ithaca.  The cast included:

  • John Ozee, the executive officer averse to making waves so soon before his retirement but hoping to leave a legacy (Susan);
  • Riley Smith, the representative of the miners’ union, out to prove himself a leader and perhaps carve out independence from Earth for Ithaca (Bryant);
  • Harjeet Diwan, second-generation Spaceborn trust fund kid and rebel (Hamish);
  • Hitomi Aura Leica, third-generation Spaceborn corporate rep, exquisitely professional and unable to make true human connections (Gregory);
  • Fredrick Azzizan, a Firstcomer and maintenance guru, the institutional memory and quiet lynchpin of 234 Ithaca (Oliver); and
  • “Swash” Gutierrez, a con man positioning himself as advocate for the immigrants stranded on Ithaca until they could move on to the new colony; modelled after Sawyer in Lost (Edmund).

Blue is for player characters, green is for the recurring support cast.

Scanned relationship map, Colony Wars

Colony Wars: Casting call

For Big Bad Con this weekend, I have scheduled a game that uses Robin D. Laws’ DramaSystem from his new role-playing game Hillfolk (Pelgrane Press), along with a series pitch from Emily Care Boss (also published in Hillfolk) called “Colony Wars.”

One of the handouts I created is a collection of photos that can be used  represent characters, especially on the relationship map that is one of the core elements of the game.  I used celeb photos, so you can play a little game trying to see how many you can recognize.  My friends will also spot several of these from other games where I’ve used them.  As usual, I was trying to go for diversity and balance; comments welcomed.

Do you know, real people smile too much in their photos?  It’s awfully hard to get that “Oh shit, we’re about to impact an asteroid!” look outside movies.

Download as a PDF file (3 pages, 4. MB).

Photos for Colony Wars: sample